Television has condensed certain aspects of our laws so that they will fit neatly into their schedule. You may watch a show where a person slips in a grocery store and by the end of the show, they are millionaires. Reality is much different.
What is a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability is when you were hurt on someone’s property and were injured due to something they did or did not do. Each case is different and approached differently.
- Where did the accident happen?
First of all, were you in an area that you were allowed or expected to be? Were there any warning signs that you ignored?
If you were in an area that was open to employees or guests and there were no warnings, an attorney may look closer at this case.
- What caused the accident?
Let us say you fell and hit your head in the ladies room of your office. You fell because there was water on the floor? Why was there water on the floor? Had the cleaning crew just mopped the floor and failed to put up a warning sign that the floor was wet? If so, then you probably have a case. However, if there is a plumbing problem that causes the water to retain water on the floor during a hard rain, and drains have been installed and pipes have been replaced to fix the problem, the judge may conclude that the property manager has been and is actively trying to find a solution, therefore you do not have a case.
What You Must Prove to Win
In Georgia, you must prove three things for a premises liability claim according to our premises liability lawyers.
- Duty of care
You must prove that the owner or manager of the building invites or allows people (shoppers, clients, workers and such) onto the premises. This means he or she has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure people who come and go in the facility are safe to do so.
- Breach of duty of care
This means you must show the courts that the owner or manager knew or should have known that there was a hazard that could hurt someone and they did nothing to correct it. For example, perhaps there is a grocery store with a faulty refrigeration unit. The unit would leak water onto the floor. This had gone on for a while and maintenance had reported it to the owner, but nothing was done. So, if someone walking past that particular unit fell in the water and was hurt, it is safe to assume the courts would find them negligent.
- Cause of the injury
The final thing is proving that malfunction was the cause of the injury. If you can show that fact, you have a case that is provable in court. This is why it is important to have witness information, photographs of the situation and injuries. You also need a paper trail. Ask the owner to call 911 if you are injured if someone else takes you, make sure to gather all paperwork and keep it.
For more information, contact a premises liability lawyer today.